The 5’11” statuesque beauty and native of Zimbabwe, Nyasha Matonhodze, was somewhat ambivalent about modeling, even though her parents encouraged her to pursue it.
It wasn’t until she caught a glimpse of the mega-successful television show, America’s Next Top Model, that she realized her passion and potential. “That’s when it all changed for me,” she told NYMag.com. “Everything I wanted was pretty much based off that show. I went into this career thinking I could be a model, but I never thought I’d actually become one.” In 2009, she signed with Elite and was a finalist in the Elite Model Look competition. Although Matonhodze was a newcomer, fashion editor Katie Grand saw fierce top model potential in her. Grand catapulted her into the fashion limelight, booking her for high-profile shows like Louis Vuitton, Loewe, and Emanuel Ungaro in 2010. She recently walked for Stella McCartney’s resort 2012 presentation and in the Fall 2011 couture shows for Christian Dior and Giambattista Valli.
2009 and 2010 proved to be pretty impressive years for Matonhodze’s budding career, but 2011 will be the year when her career goes into overdrive. She walked a second time for the trio of designers mentioned above, and adds Halston, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Michael Kors to her already incredible resume. She has also graced the pages of magazines Harper’s Bazaar, V, and Teen Vogue. Conquering international runways and starring in editorials are amazing feats for any young model, but they are just the tip of the iceberg for this rising star, who is slated to appear in the Fall/Winter 2011 ad campaigns for Louis Vuitton and Topshop.
Her career will have her trekking to glamorous fashion capitals all over the globe, but for her, home truly is where heart is. Despite leaving Zimbabwe at a young age, she still gushes about her native homeland. “I do still have memories of Zimbabwe; falling asleep in the sand, bathing outside, the warmth of the sun, and just the way of living…it’s so lovely,” she said. “They’re happy with who they are and their traditions. I love going back home.”